Senator Brown’s mistaken support of PROTECT-IP

He started his term by supporting the financial overhaul, which was a tremendous mistake.  

Most recently, he’s decided to support the mis-named PROTECT-IP act.  

I’m at a loss to understand the way in which Senator Brown is receiving input from constituents and making decisions about legislation to support.

His support of the financial overhaul legislation shortly after he was elected was a tremendous disappointment.  Whether it was his failure to understand the way in which our complex financial system works or a preemptive move to take the issue off the table in this still-blue state in the event of a challenge by Warren, I’ve read nothing from him/his staff that justifies imposing these extraordinary costs on the economy.

Most recently, he’s chosen to support the mis-named PROTECT-IP act.  Here’s the form e-mail I received a few minutes ago:

    Thank you for contacting me regarding the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property (PROTECT IP) Act (S. 968).  As always, I value your input and appreciate hearing from you.

    Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced S. 968 on May 12, 2011.  The PROTECT IP Act aims to provide law enforcement with tools to stop websites dedicated to online piracy and the sale of counterfeit goods, which range from new movie and music releases to pharmaceutical drugs and consumer products.

    I understand your concerns about online information sharing and censorship.  On May 26, 2011, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, of which I am not a member, approved S. 968, and it now awaits further action by the full Senate.  As the legislative process moves forward, I will keep your thoughts in mind.

    Again, thank you for sharing your views with me.  Should you have any additional questions or comments, please feel free to contact me or visit my website at


    Scott P. Brown

    United States Senator

Given the intellectual heritage here in Massachusetts, the many staunch defenders of free speech, and the wealth of technology talent, schools, and companies, I can’t imagine why he believes he should support a bill that invites such extensive Federal control of the Internet and such penalties for providers large and small.

Is this a staff problem?

Does he not understand the issues?  (His/his staff’s letter explaining his support of the financial overhaul simply repeated the Dem’s talking points.)

Has anyone had a positive experience providing input or interacting with his staff?  If so, would love to hear how.

Did I not donate enough money?  (I hope those two aren’t even related, but one wonders.)


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